FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Port Orchard City Clerk’s Office
March 20, 2023
Port Orchard, WA – Mayor Putaansuu and the City of Port Orchard leadership believe that parades, special events and festivals are vitally important to the fabric of our community. They bring us together in celebration and help us create and sustain the social bonds that make communities like Port Orchard so special. But these events must be conducted in a safe manner to be beneficial to the community as a whole.
Covid presented Port Orchard with many challenges, and our students were especially affected with graduating seniors and their families were prevented from gathering and holding graduation ceremonies. The High School Senior Parade event has evolved to a level that it effects public transportation.
The City’s code requires that all parades, special events and festivals file an application with the city. If the event requires the closure of streets, a traffic control plan that reflects the scale and scope of the proposed event must be provided to inform effected business and the community of the road closure and the detour route. This is the policy that all public festivals and parades must adhere to for the safety of everyone in our community.
Efforts by some to inaccurately represent the City’s requirements necessary to protect both parade participants and those who utilize the City’s roadways are inappropriate and disheartening. City staff informed the event holders a year ago that they needed to apply for a permit and abide by City code and State laws. Once an application is received the City will do everything within its power to shepherd the application through a public process to gain the approval of police, fire, transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation since Bay Street is a State Highway.
The Mayor & the City Council love the High School Senior Parade, are encouraged by the community support that the parade as garnered, but we must also require that the event be planned for and conducted in a safe, legal and consistent manner.